We report on six patients in whom hypothermia secondary to acute illnesses, including pneumonia, congestive heart failure, renal failure, drug overdose, and hypoglycemia, developed. Complications that occurred were metabolic acidosis in six patients, altered sensorium in five, bradyarrhythmia in three, and hyperamylasemia in two. All patients failed to demonstrate a shivering response and represent cases of acute thermoregulatory failure. Five of the six patients survived. In the course of treatment, the choice of active or passive rewarming should be based on whether or not normal thermoregulatory mechanisms are intact.
(Arch Intern Med 139:418-421, 1979)